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Posts with tag wow-paladin-info

The Light and How to Swing It: Tanking the first three bosses of Throne of Thunder

The Light and How to Swing It A look at 52 tanking loot
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Like jumping into a cold pool after spending too much time in the hot tub, tanking Throne of Thunder after weeks of tier 14 may be a bit of a shocking experience. (Sorry, had to.) This place is no joke -- the health and damage requirements are ratcheted up severely from the previous tier of raiding. The bosses will hit harder and the mechanics will be tighter, but on the other hand, the loot will be even shinier. Honor and glory awaits in the halls of the Thunder King.

The first quarter of the dungeon is designated as the Last Stand of the Zandalari, and you'll be seeing some old, tusked faces. Let's talk about what you'll need to do to withstand everything that the finest warriors of that dying land can throw at you.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

How to key-bind your retribution paladin

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

There are few things more frustrating while playing video games than being unable to control your character properly. In select cases this can be due to some fault in the game itself, but more often than not it tends to be a hardware malfunction. I had an increasingly difficult time playing Halo 3 when I would whip my controller at the wall in a blind rage every time someone would counter-snipe me just when I found a particularly good perch.

Recently though, my troubles have been with my mouse. My Logitech G500 has served me well for a few years but countless hours of furious clicking in games like Diablo III and Torchlight II have taken their toll. After some careful deliberation I decided to get the G500's older brother, the Logitech G600. I felt, playing as much WoW as I do these days, investing in a self-proclaimed "MMO mouse" would be sensible.

When I got the mouse and unboxed it, however, I was not prepared for just how many buttons this thing has. I sat with my spellbook open trying to find the most reasonable arrangement of keybinds for longer than I care to admit. Eventually I settled on a group of binds that I'm slowly but surely getting accustomed to, though not before I "misclick" and toss a Hand of Protection on a hunter.

This week I'd like to go over keybinds, discussing some general tips and going over two different schemes that I've used that hopefully some of you will find useful (unless you're left-handed, in which case I apologize that these tips may not be all that helpful for your sinister situation). If you have another setup you'd like to share, please do!

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: A look at 5.2 tanking loot

The Light and How to Swing It A look at 52 tanking loot
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Another patch, another tumbling pile of loot that we will spend the next half year greedily chasing like a kid in a candy store. Y'know, if the kid was only allowed to visit the candy store once a week, and the store owner handed him a random piece every time he visited. Still, it's pretty exciting, the possibilities of a new patch. Aside from all the interesting new stuff to do, a new patch always presents the opportunity to grow your character in power and effectiveness through ever-increasing item levels.

5.2 is unique in that, for the first time, most raid drops will have five different versions of item level value. With the introduction of Thunderforged items, we now can collect Raid Finder, Normal, Normal Thunderforged, Heroic, and Heroic Thunderforged flavors of each and every raid drop. Despite this cacophony of loot, for the purposes of my sanity and yours, I'll only be listing the normal-mode version of each item in the list ahead.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Ret gear in the Throne of Thunder

The Light and How to Swing It Ret gear in the Throne of Thunder
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

As Notorious B.I.G. would say, "mo patches, mo gear." Well, I imagine he would have said that if he could have played World of Warcraft.

There's just something about pouring through datamined loot and finding out where it all drops that excites me. In fact, I don't get into the whole "new patch hype" until I look at the gear, and then I'm suddenly hit with the realization that we're getting new bosses, new content, and new items.

Despite how much fun I had in putting this article together, gear lists have proven to be very dry. They have their uses, particularly as bookmark fodder for a quick reference of what drops where, so instead of trying to fluff this post up, I'm going to just lay it all out at once. Before I do that, however, I need to mention a few things.

There are some discrepancies between Wowhead's data and that from the PTR itself. You might notice weird or incorrect tooltips or entries that don't correspond to data on the site or on the test realm. In all cases, I defaulted to the test realm as the final authority on the matter.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: A review of tier 14 from a tanking perspective

The Light and How to Swing It A review of tier 14 from a tanking perspective
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

With the Throne of Thunder echoing in the distance, it will not be much longer before tier 14 is a fading and pleasant memory for many raiders. I think it's a fair assessment to say that this tier has been one of the most successful in WoW's history, at least from an encounter design perspective. An unexpected follow-up from the doldrums of Dragon Soul, the raids of Mogu'shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of Endless Spring have been interesting and (most importantly!) engaging -- especially for tanks.

Remember that in the closing days of Dragon Soul and Cataclysm, there was a general feeling of ennui in the raid tanking community. Between the nullification of threat, the introduction of Vengeance, and the seeming dumbing-down of raid mechanics throughout Cataclysm, the sentiment was that Blizzard had given up on making tanking interesting at anything but the heroic raid level. And even then, by "interesting" it meant you would have to cope with much, much more damage. Obviously, it's human nature to assume that past is prologue and as such many tanks assumed the worst was yet to come.

So imagine the surprise when the mists dispersed and the land of Pandaria revealed an unexpected renaissance for raid tanks.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Putting the retribution back in retribution

The Light and How to Swing It Putting the retribution back in retribution
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Group dynamics are a pretty important part of any multiplayer game, and World of Warcraft is no exception. From dungeons and scenarios, to battlegrounds and raids, and multiple things in-between, learning how to work with other players is an essential part of playing the game. Friendships are made, rivalries ignite, and respect is earned through cooperation and determination.

Of course, these things look great on paper, but we all know that there's a darker side to grouping. People needing on greens, random AFKs, loudmouths, Kingslayer Orkus trying to solo a boss while the rest of the party is elsewhere -- all acts protected by the mechanics of a system that randomly matches players into a group who would never have met before, and will likely never meet again; you will never see a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than the Dungeon Finder.

Personally, I try to be as lenient and forgiving as I can, but everyone has their limits. Eventually you snap, and instead of trying your hardest to uphold the virtues of your order, you fight back. As paladins, our spellbooks come fully-stocked with an assortment of group-based abilities to abuse in situations such as these. Some of these tricks are easy and relatively innocuous, while others are much more complex, requiring precise timing and concentration, but have a much larger payoff.

Disclaimer: This article is satirical in nature. I implore you not to do any of these things anywhere outside of a group full of friends that will find these antics amusing to all parties. Remember, what to you may seem like harmless fun might actually be something that can ruin someone else's day. Please use caution, discretion, and good judgment when goofing around.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: A not-so-hasty retreat

The Light and How to Swing It 52 roundup for protection
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Ghostcrawler created panicked ripples in the tankadin community when he unexpectedly declared on the forums that he had "plans to try and lower the value of haste relative to dodge and parry." I'm sure you, as I, have read over these quotes multiple times, so I won't repeat them all in full for the sake of not wasting the humble electrons shooting through your computer.

Nonetheless, the key takeaway is that he feels the main problem is paladin tanks are prioritizing haste, which wasn't supposed to be a major tanking stat, over dodge and parry. (More on that in a bit.) He foresees that a fix might have to involve a nerf to Shield of the Righteous, the primary beneficiary of our haste; though this would be accompanied by some kind of buff to keep our survivability level.

Likewise, GC is concerned with protection paladins taking haste plate out of the mouths of those specs it was designed for -- DPS death knights and paladins among them -- and thus causing unnecessary friction in a group. And, of course, he's worried that protection paladins might turn their nose at good tanking gear with dodge and parry stats, considering them garbage. (Again, we'll revisit this.)

Thankfully, the crab recognizes that above all, having haste as a tank is fun, and he claims he wants to preserve that. Which is great. So, let's look at this whole crazy mess, and figure out where we are and where this might leave us.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution and the battle of the bonuses

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

This PTR cycle of patch 5.2 has been pretty quiet on the retribution front, or so it seemed. The few changes we're seeing are mainly talent-centric: Regardless, I've always been a bit disappointed when we go through a patch unscathed. I suppose one could take it as a sign from the devs that they think ret is doing okay (whether this is true or not seems to be a matter of personal opinion), but it's a tad boring to not see any retribution news in with the list of changes.

Despite this lack of alteration, it seems there's still something we can get excited and/or worried over -- our tier set bonuses. Our tier 15 two-piece bonus, Exorcism putting a debuff on your target that makes it take 6% increased Holy damage from you for 6 seconds, seems to be fairly solid. With Exorcism's cooldown being 15 seconds (reduced by haste through Sanctity of Battle, of course), and Art of War giving us a 20% chance to reset Exorcism's cooldown on autoattacks, this buff should have a pretty high uptime. Personally, I don't really find it particularly appealing, but I don't hate it either. It's a two-piece bonus, it's not the star of the show.

Our four-piece bonus, however, has stolen the limelight and caused quite the stir not only within the ret paladin community, but apparently even at Blizzard as well as the blues ping-ponged between two ideas before finally (albeit momentarily) settling on one.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Mists of Pandaria

5.2 round-up for protection paladins

The Light and How to Swing It 52 roundup for protection
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

I must admit, while following all the changes of path 5.2 as they trickled out, the one change that got me really, really pumped was the further loosening of transmog rules. In 5.2, a one-handed sword (as just about all our epic weapons are this expansion) can be transmogrified to an axe or a mace. In addition, many weapons from earlier expansions that were designated as mainhand weapons, have been changed one-hand weapons.

Combined, this means that in 5.2, no matter what actual weapon I have, it can look like the Gavel of Unearthed Secrets -- an iconic paladin weapon if I ever saw one. Sure, swords are great (the Crusader's Glory is particularly nice), but when I think of paladins smiting the undead and enforcing the will of the Light, I see them holding a massive hammer in their hands. So I'm excited to return to that motif.

But obviously there's a lot more going on in patch 5.2 than transmogrifying! There is a new tier set with new set bonuses worth digging into, as well as a slew of class changes that are coming down the pike.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Why retribution DPS is a-okay

The Light and How to Swing It Why retribution DPS is aokay
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Towards the tail end of Ulduar and into the beginning of Trial of the Crusader, I was in a guild that had a rogue that would consistently top the DPS charts. I would run so many heroics and PuG raids to get gear, all the while practicing what could laughably be called our "rotation" in retrospect, and I would still fall short. Over time, however, I began to notice that even though I wasn't beating him, I was beating many others. Soon the time came when I was neck-and-neck with him, always biting his heels and waiting for him to allow me an opportunity to beat him, once and for all.

When I eventually did overtake him and saw my character's name on the top of Recount, the feeling was greater than any boss kill. You can't ever see a boss collapse and have the feeling that you did that all by yourself, that you were the sole reason for this victory, because it took a combination of other players, all supporting each other, to see that end result. The DPS race is totally different -- aside from healers keeping you alive (which, if you're properly aware of your surroundings and your threat, shouldn't be an issue) you shoulder the responsibility to push out as much damage as you can. Seeing yourself at the top is a much more personal victory because you can honestly say that you did that, that you pulled yourself up there and truly earned that spot. And from what I understand, this is not a unique experience.

I have talked to quite a few players who have expressed concern over some fairly recent SimulationCraft results that show retribution ranking near the bottom out of all available DPS specs. Even ignoring SimCraft, many more players have expressed concern over their damage output as they compare it to their fellow raiders, guildmates, and random DPSers in LFR. Despite this mounting evidence, I have asserted that retribution is in a nice place -- not great, not OP, but comfortable. Indeed, Ghostcrawler tends to feel the same way. So what's the story here? Why does it seem like everyone and their uncle think ret is doing poorly?

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: Talents and glyphs for tanking Terrace of Endless Spring

The Light and How to Swing It Talents and glyphs for tanking Mogu'shan Vaults
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Terrace of Endless Spring is a weird conclusion to the joyous majesty of tier 14. We go from one large raid to another large raid, and then the tier caps with chasing a Sha back to his Breakfast Nook of Fear. I suppose, however, you do have to give Blizzard a hand for managing to efficiently cram so many bosses into such a small area. The economy of space in there is very well executed.

Nonetheless, all meta discussion aside, from a tanking perspective, Terrace of the Endless Spring is nothing to write home about compared to the rest of the tier. The fights are okay, but don't really require the same engagement that fights in Mogu'shan Vaults, or even the Heart of Fear, demanded. Regardless, it being the last raid of the tier, the damage is higher and the need to keep yourself on two feet is oh-so-pressing. There are definitely some good tricks in your toolbox that will help keep you vertical and the thus the raid from going pear-shaped. Let's explore them.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Utilizing retribution's utility spells

The Light and How to Swing It Utilizing retributions utility spells
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Sometimes it's easy to get yourself on a one-track mindset and put all of your effort and energy into maintaining the best DPS rotation you can to top the charts and kill those bosses dead. I often forget that I'm even playing a hybrid class as I swap around talents and glyphs to squeak out as much damage I can. Thankfully, the designers threw a number of challenges into our latest raid tier, situations where a retribution paladin's utility toolkit can not only shine, but produce truly epic moments and make the player of that classiest of classes feel truly fulfilled.

The last time I talked about utility was back in March, where I tossed some ideas around about how to introduce these spells to the newcomer or, in my case, to the utility-challenged. As with many classes, you're given a plethora of powerful abilities as you level up that work well in a wide variety of encounters, but both keeping track of these abilities and finding the best situations to use them in can be overwhelming. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to flesh out these spells and describe how one can and should use them.

Pretending to be a holy paladin

For the full experience, stare at your raid frames while on /follow with your guild's shadow priest. If you die, blame the shadow priest.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: Talents and glyphs for tanking Heart of Fear

The Light and How to Swing It Talents and glyphs for tanking Mogu'shan Vaults
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

You know those awful kids in your neighborhood who, on a hot summer's day, would find an ant hill and roast the little suckers inside with their grandmother's magnifying glass, or push rocks and sticks in the hole in an attempt to starve the inhabitants? That's how raiding the Heart of Fear feels for me sometime. It's a hive of six-legged-pants-wetting terror and we're just adding onto the troubles of those poor insects. It's a little cruel, really -- kicking them when they're down.

Incidentally, you know what class that awful kid grew up to play? A warrior; it's a fact of behavioral science. (OK, probably a rogue. But I have to get my shots in.)

Anyway, when it comes to demolishing your way through piles and piles of exoskeleton-clad fanatics and extremists, sworn to protect the only female they have ever known, you'll need every tool and trick at your disposal. Much like in Mogu'shan Vaults, this expansion's iteration of talents and glyphs gives us a wide amount of latitude in how we approach a fight, and can provide some decisive advantages. Let's talk about how!

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution talents and glyphs for Terrace of Endless Spring

The Light and How to Swing It Retribution talents and glyphs for Terrace of Endless Spring
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

I really like Terrace of Endless Spring. In my eyes, Terrace represents a continuation of the process of experimentation the developers began in Trial of the Crusader, namely that of making raids smaller without holding any actual content back. This experiment was continued in Cataclysm in Throne of the Four Winds, but I feel it wasn't quite a success until Terrace. Shrinking raids is a tricky proposition, but the surface area of this instance is balanced out by the complexity of its encounters.

For you regular readers out there, you might have noticed I seem to have skipped right over the second half of Heart of Fear, Nightmare of Shek'zeer. Truth be told, I didn't really find these encounters interesting enough to devote an entire column to tackling them. Don't let my apparent entomophobia hold you back, though -- please do feel free to discuss Wind Lord Mel'Jarak, Amber-Shaper Un'sok, and Grand Empress Shek'zeer in the comments below!

Anywho, let's jump right into the encounters for Terrace of Endless Spring. If you're looking for some raid guides for these bosses, Icy Veins has a great set on their site.

Protectors of the Endless

Similar in many ways to Ulduar's Iron Council, the Protectors can be pulled in a different order to vary not only the difficulty, but the gear drops. As on Iron Council, you will only be attacking one target at a time, a fact that shapes the talents and glyphs we want to use in this encounter.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: Thank the Light, encounters are interesting to tank again

The Light and How to Swing It Talents and glyphs for tanking Mogu'shan Vaults
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Nearly a year ago, I wrote a column bemoaning the current state of tanking in Cataclysm and specifically how terribly boring the encounters were to tank. It was a common complaint throughout Firelands that only got worse in the doldrums of Dragon Soul. The majority of fights in those two raids were soul-suckingly droll when it came to tanking them, and the most pessimistic of us saw the repetition of the boring tank encounter model in DS as a terrifying new trend in encounter design.

Combine that with the recent removal of threat and you had some serious tank ennui. I closed out the column with a similar sentiment and down-cast eyes as Mists loomed ahead. The prevailing fear was that the trend would continue and fights would get easier and more boring to tank with every successive raid tier.

However, 11 months and an expansion later, I'm happy to report that the trend that I and many others had feared was arrested in this first burst of raid content. In Mists of Pandaria, especially in Mogu'shan Vaults, the game took a huge leap forward with regards to making encounters that are not only interesting to tank, but all fun and engaging as well.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

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